Jim Carrey in How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Jim Carrey nabbed the role of the Grinch after making it through an audition process that included earning the approval of Dr. Seuss’ widow, but those obstacles were minor compared with what he faced on the set.

He had a particularly hard time in the makeup chair, where he spent hours a day during the lengthy shoot—and had to be fitted with uncomfortable contact lenses that proved so painful that the studio brought in a military torture adviser to help Carrey cope.

Those techniques got him through filming without quitting, but just barely; in fact, some shots of the Grinch’s eyes had to be digitally fixed in post-production because Carrey couldn’t bear to wear the contacts.

Jessica Alba in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

You think you hated Fox’s first couple of Fantastic Four movies? Try being Jessica Alba, whose experiences playing Sue “Invisible Woman” Storm nearly made her walk away from acting altogether.

Alba’s frustrations stemmed from working with director Tim Story, who she later claimed issued absurd demands like telling her to keep her facial expression flat during a crying scene so she’d stay “pretty.”

After 2007’s Rise of the Silver Surfer, she realized she didn’t care about the movie business anymore, but things have still worked out pretty well for her—she went on to co-found the Honest Company, currently valued around $2 billion.

Brad Pitt in Interview with the Vampire

Interview with the Vampire united Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in a visually sumptuous adaptation of the bestselling Anne Rice novel, but being part of 1994’s most eagerly anticipated beefcake summit wasn’t all it was cracked up to be for Pitt.

Years after the movie came and went, Pitt admitted he was so miserable during filming that he actually approached producer David Geffen about buying out his contract—only to reconsider after Geffen informed him it’d cost $40 million.